17 May 2016

When outdated technology begins to slow you down

As a service manager I work closely with clients to help them get the best from their technology investments.

One thing I consistently see that holds companies back from that, is the presence of outdated technology in their environments.

There’s a number of reasons why technology is allowed to fall out-of-date.

Sometimes there’s a misunderstanding of the benefits that the technology brings to the business – that because a system is already functional, it’s no point keeping pace with the latest versions.

Other times technology starts life as best practice at a point in time, but slowly loses its value without updates, upgrades and iterative improvement.

Whatever the reason technology has been left to become outdated, it’s important that the situation not be allowed to continue. This is because you may not realise the extent to which it is holding you back.

Take something as simple as your email system. People will often say, “I already have email.  I can read it, therefore I don’t need a new product”.

But newer versions are likely to optimise processes, improve workflows and make the business more efficient. In other words, a simple upgrade could lead to better communication outcomes.

Newer technology is also likely to favour mobility.

Given the dominance of smartphones in everyday life, it makes sense to take full advantage of what they offer in a business context: improving your ability to communicate, make sales and market your business. Mobile is also changing the way your customers want to interact with you.

You don’t want to be cut out of these and other mobile technology opportunities because your operating system or core business systems are too far behind to support these newer capabilities.

There are other reasons to stay up-to-date. Staff these days expect the companies they work for to at least try to keep pace with consumer technology trends.

Nucleus Research noted this year the continued rise of consumer technology influencing the enterprise, and how it particularly influenced how attractive a company is to young workers.

So not letting your systems get outdated is one strategy to attracting and retaining new talent.

Another serious reason to keep pace with technology is security. We continue to see companies worldwide fall to attacks because software isn’t patched or is out of maintenance. Not keeping pace could open your company to unwanted security risks.

One development that is helping companies keep pace with rapid changes in technology is the cloud.

Cloud systems are maintained and updated by the service provider. That shifts much of the responsibility, headache and planning off the business owner, allowing them to focus on their core business instead.

Our experience shows clients benefit greatly from cloud-based systems as it removes the burden of keeping up-to-date.

Talk to us about how upgrading to the latest technology can get your business humming again.